The Union Difference

Highlights from AAUP Union contracts can make the difference for Full-Time Faculty

Collective bargaining has been proven to be effective at improving the lives and working conditions of faculty at numerous institutions across the country. Great strides have been made in these areas:


Cincinnati State Technical and Community College. The contract negotiated by Cincy State AAUP defines a total faculty member’s workload in workload units, which include contact hours, office hours, and administrative duties.  One classroom contact hour is equal to one workload hour.  Also, the contract language allows for workload to account for the number of course preparations, not just the number of courses taught.  Faculty members receive advance notice of workload duties prior to the beginning of each academic year, including a complete breakdown of workload units. (Article 9)

Truckee Meadows Community College. The duties, responsibilities, and compensation for faculty assigned to perform administrative work (such as lead faculty) are clearly outlined in the contract. (Article 8-10)

University of Delaware.  The contract establishes a framework for faculty to develop workload policies within their own departments, thus allowing for greater flexibility according to the needs of each unit. (Article 11)   

Shared Governance and Academic Freedom

Cincinnati State Technical and Community College. Contract language strengthens existing shared governance by making clear the faculty spheres of academic freedom and control, by defining the appropriate composition of academic committees, and by making existing processes and structures enforceable through the normal grievance process. (Article 6)

Bowling Green State University. BGSU Faculty Association’s agreement provides means by which faculty formally participate in the selection and evaluation of administrators, including the President, Vice President, and Deans. (Article 10)

University of Vermont. United Academic of Vermont negotiated contract language that clearly defines the roles of the union, the faculty senate, the board and the administration in matters of institutional governance. (Article 7)

Workplace Safety

University of Oregon.  The union contract establishes a joint (union/administration) safety committee, and requires that the administration provide notice to faculty when there is a violation of the student code of conduct involving the safety and wellbeing of faculty. Faculty cannot be disciplined for reporting threats of violence, and cannot be forced to teach a class where they feel unsafe. (Article 13)

Fair Processes in hiring, promotions, discipline, and budget cuts

Program Changes due to Budget Cuts and Financial Exigency

Portland State University.  Portland State AAUP won contract language that outlines a process for dealing with budget cuts and extraordinary financial difficulties.  It describes not only the conditions that constitute a true financial crisis, but also provides a process to jointly resolve the issue with ample input from all faculty.  (Article 22)


Cincinnati State Technical and Community College.  The union has negotiated a comprehensive policy for advertising, searching, and filling vacancies both in the bargaining unit and for administrators. The administration is required to provide notice of vacancies to the union, and are required to inform faculty of their intention to fill or not fill the position, and why. (Article 7)


Wright State University. Wright State’s contract with the AAUP contains a process for evaluating faculty annually, and outlines specific teaching and service criteria that comprise the evaluation. Faculty members, in turn, also have the opportunity to formally participate in the evaluation of administrators. (Article 10)

Grievance Procedures and Due Process

University of Oregon. Both the Union and the Administration agree in their contract to a fair grievance process to resolve violations of the contract. The process begins with an informal attempt to resolve the issue at the lowest level, and proceeds in 4 steps that ends with a decision by a neutral arbitrator. (Article 22)

Central State University.  Although discipline is rare, the AAUP contract at Central State University outlines specific conduct that constitutes grounds for progressive discipline, and establishes due process for resolving conflict. (Article 17)